Listen for Their Personality, Not Just the Facts

Adapting her presentation style to the personality of the seller has netted Tammy Fadler, ABR, CRS, 140 transactions a year at RE/MAX Metro in Festus, Mo., and a community of 10,000.

Inspired by a seminar she attended, Fadler now trains her staff to identify these four major personality types and respond appropriately.

After all, says Fadler, “It used to be that you wanted to treat clients the way you wanted to be treated, but now you need to treat clients the way that they want to be treated.”

Type 1: Dominants

These go-getters are decisive, results-oriented, and no nonsense. They make quick decisions and are comfortable challenging the status quo.

How to know them: They interrupt your presentation. They speak in short sentences and talk rapidly.

Your best response: Shorten your presentation and cut to the chase. Tell them the three things they need most and get to the bottom line.

Type 2: Influencers

These extroverts are more concerned with a good time than the fine points of the sale. They like to be liked and love to be the center of attention. They want talk about them and how the home benefits them personally.

How to know them: They talk only about themselves and want to be the center of attention.

Your best response: Materials with bright colors and pictures attract this group. Be very animated, and tell them how good they look.

Type 3: Steadies

These family-oriented clients want everyone to be happy. They have strong maternal instincts and are calm, responsible, and patient.

How to know them: They are good listeners. They may seem slow to make decisions. If you go to their homes, the place will be filled with family pictures and mementos.

Your best response: Learn all their children’s names and ask about them whenever you call. Emphasize the benefits to the family of their real estate decision and talk with them on how the sale can be handled most effectively to not interrupt their home life.

Type 4: Conscientious

The engineer of the consumer world, these detail-oriented clients want to be sure that every bit of information is correct before making a decision. They’re subtle and diplomatic.

How to know them: They ask dozens of questions and want every detail. No generalizations for this group.

Your best response: Know the facts, and if you don’t know, don’t try to fake it. They’ll mistrust you if you’re wrong. Be willing to spend the time this group requires to learn what they need. Be patient with their need to have every detail explained. Ask questions to be sure you’re responding to their real needs. Repeat their questions back to them to be sure that you understanding them.

To help her staff and herself remember the importance of adapting to personality, Fadler includes the personality code — D, I, S, or C — at the top of each prospect’s contact sheet.

She also reinforces the importance of personality with her staff by giving each a personality test and making jokes in the office about her own hard-driving “D” personality.

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